Have you ever wanted to be in the driver’s seat of the City of Sugar Land’s budget? Now, you can be.
Sugar Land has launched a new digital budget simulator that gives residents a first-hand look at what it takes to balance – and maintain – a city budget.
“This is an interactive way of learning about the City’s budget while telling us how you would allocate funds if you had the power,” Senior Budget and Strategy Analyst Hannah Shulman said.
Users will start off with a $1.5 million surplus to invest and will be able to “influence” the City’s budget and adjust budget lines for things like the Office of Emergency Management, Public Works, and Parks and Recreation by decreasing or increasing department budgets. Users also have the option to maintain the current budget and service levels and can learn about what services each of the departments featured provides. There is also an option to submit comments and suggestions.
“I think it’s important for the residents to see just how much thought it takes to balance the City’s budget,” Shulman said.
The simulator launched February 8 and will run for a six week trial. While the simulator is purely for educational purposes and will not be used to make any budget decisions, data gathered from the tool will ultimately be used alongside other data points to allow the City’s budget department to fully gauge resident priorities.
Play with the simulator at www.sugarlandtx.gov/BudgetInfluencer.